Devin Nunes is up to something. The House Intelligence Committee chairman has been writing letters lately, asking that two other House chairman — Bob Goodlatte of the Judiciary Committee and Trey Gowdy of the Oversight Committee — pick up parts of the Trump-Russia investigation that Nunes started. It's as if Nunes, who shook loose some of the key publicly-known facts in the probe, is having a grand going-out-of-business sale. But that's clearly not the case. So what, in fact, is going on?
The short version is that the investigation is expanding to the two additional committees, even as Nunes devotes his own committee's resources to learning whether the FBI used informants against the 2016 Trump campaign and, if so, how many, when, and how much money was spent on the project. Both Judiciary and Oversight have more staff than Intelligence, and thus more capacity to handle multiple witnesses. They also have more direct oversight responsibility for parts of the Justice Department and other arms of the federal government under examination by House investigators.
Last fall Goodlatte and Gowdy announced the formation of a joint Judiciary-Oversight task force to investigate "decisions made by the Department of Justice in 2016." At the time of the announcement, on Oct. 24, 2017, the focus was mostly on various aspects of the Clinton email investigation. But it has since broadened to include the Trump-Russia probe, which involved many of the same key players at the Justice Department. Now, it is the vehicle to continue parts of the original House Intel investigation.